Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day twenty-three with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the growth God brings into our life.
Thankful For Growth
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD‘s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
Isaiah 55:12-13 (NIV)
Today I am thankful for a God who causes good things to grow. In the verse just prior to the ones posted above, God says that His words will go out and not return to Him void. I am thankful that when God’s Word is shared into the lives of people it has the power to grow good things that bring honor to God. I am thankful for God’s promise that creation itself will rejoice when I return to God. I am thankful that the wastelands of life we create for ourselves can be redeemed and restored by the power of God in us and through us.
I am thankful that in all of the areas of life where thorn bushes and briers tend to grow naturally, God can bring about the growth of things which are good and beneficial. Without intervention, weeds and unproductive plants have a tendency to multiply quickly and choke out that which is good. In fact, Jesus tells a parable where the cares of this world are the weeds of life that choke out growth after the seed of God’s Word had been planted. I am thankful that when they are entrusted to God, the cares of this world are not big enough to overcome His power.
As you pray, consider the growth that God has already brought forth in your life. Pray that you would be careful about the things that you allow to grow in your life. Pray for the wisdom to notice the things which are keeping the good growth from taking place. Pray for a faithfulness in feeding your soul and spirit with the good things found in the Word of God. Pray that your spiritual growth and well-being would be of even greater importance to you than your physical development. Pray that God would help you to be involved in the planting and watering of the seeds of faith so that God can bring a great harvest of righteousness in your life and the lives of those around you. Pray that you would always give God the credit for the growth He accomplishes in you. Pray that you would never stop growing in your relationship with Jesus.
I pray that you and I would eagerly accept God’s Word into our life and allow it to grow good things. I pray that we would join with the mountains, the hills, and the trees of the field in praising God. I pray that we would involved in making known the name of the Lord as He produces good fruit in our life. I pray that we would live as those who overcome through the power of Christ in us so that the cares of this world would not stand a chance in their quest to take over our life.